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Planing with the Grain: A Quick Resource Guide

Is grain orientation during planing important? When planing, orienting the grain correctly is critical to achieving a smooth finish. Improper grain orientation can cause chips, tear-outs, and/or additional damage. In this article, we’ll discuss how to plane with the grain to avoid damage and how to identify the direction of grain in various common wood types. Each piece of wood …

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Common Hand Tools and Plane Cutting Angles

When cutting and shaping wood, using the right tools can make a great difference. However, it depends on how easy the job is and what the quality of the outcome is. Some common hand tools used for wood works include Handsaws, Tenon saws, Coping saws, Dovetail handsaws, hand planes, and Wood Chisels. Each of these hand tools has a special …

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What is the difference between Bevel Up and Bevel Down Planes?

A hand plane is used to flatten and smooth broad wood surfaces and are irreplaceable in a well stocked wood shop. However, deciding which ones to buy can be challenging especially as a beginner. One of the choices is deciding between a Bevel Up and Bevel Down Plane. Each style has its own advantages, disadvantages, and uses. The fundamental difference …

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Making a Small Brass Plane by Hand with Bowmaker Ken Altman

This year, I am finally learning and using my grandpa’s Stanley planes on my home refinishing projects.  Seeing my newfound interest in planes, my wife put me in touch with a local master craftsman.  Plane-making is not his business, but surprisingly integral to his traditional craft of making violin bows.  Traditional Planing Still Used in Bow Making I am learning …

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A Guide To Basic Hand Planes

The Basic Three Hand Planes You Need For Woodworking We’re Here For You: A Little Helpful Direction If you’re looking into woodworking with hand tools, the first thing you probably did was search for, well some hand tools. And maybe it was a little overwhelming. The community of hand tool woodworkers (or unplugged woodworkers if you prefer), is passionate and …

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What are the parts of a wood working plane?

A commercial promoting woodworking bench planes would simply have to show me with an random orbit sander hooked to a screaming shop vac, wearing goggles, respirator, and hearing protection in a cloud of sawdust.  Then, cut to a paper-thin curl of wood whispering off an antique Stanley bench plane, revealing iridescent grain patterns as birds chirp in the background. This …

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Why Do Woodworking Benches Have Holes?

Take a look at any woodworking professional’s workbench and you might wonder, why there are holes randomly cut into the top? These holes are not randomly placed, and are actually called “dog holes.” Dog holes help woodworking professionals hold the piece they’re working on. They can also act like a vise when large amounts of pressure or force are necessary. …

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Hand Tool Woodworking for Beginners and Mere Mortals

Most people who love beautiful furniture, decorative molding, and carved artwork also admire the craftsmanship that goes into creating them. Every would-be cabinetmaker dreams of becoming the next Duncan Phyfe, creating miraculously detailed furniture, but woodworking with hand tools can be much less intricate and still provide this satisfaction. This article will cover how to get started with hand tools …

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Is a Japanese Polishing Plane Better Than a Western Smoothing Plane?

While doing some research on wood finishing, I came across an article praising wood planes from the far off country of Japan. I was intrigued. This article enumerated some interesting points. One of which I wanted to address here. The Japanese Polishing plane is objectively better than the Western Smoothing plane. For the skilled woodworker, the Japanese polishing plane is …